Contempt of court notice to four people for not activating ‘Alert system’ in Bangladesh
A contempt of Court order has been sent to the Environment Secretary, Finance Secretary, Director General, and Director (Monitoring and Enforcement) of the Environment Department for not-implementing the High Court’s order to introduce an ‘Alert system’ to protect the public from unhealthy and hazardous air.
Lawyer S. Hasanul Banna on behalf of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association(BELA), sent the notice by registry post.
In the notice, it has been requested to launch an alert system of the court order in case of unhealthy, extremely unhealthy, and dangerous air quality levels in Dhaka. Additionally, BELA strongly demanded to take appropriate measures to control the primary sources of air pollution. Otherwise, legal action will take against the person noticed.
Earlier, BELA filed a writ in the High Court in February 2022 seeking necessary directions to reduce air pollution. On the preliminary hearing of the writ, the High Court issued an order with rules and instructions on February 15.
Besides identifying the main sources of air pollution, the court directed to formulate a time-bound action plan to reduce pollution and launch an alert system to protect the public from unhealthy, extremely unhealthy, and hazardous air.
The defendants were also asked to submit a report to the court within four months stating the progress of the implementation of the directive.
In the notice, BELA said, according to Air Visual, a US-based international organization monitoring air pollution Air Quality Index (AQI), that the air quality of the capital Dhaka has been unhealthy, extremely unhealthy, and dangerous for more than one month.
Despite the explicit orders of the court, the alert system has not been put in place to protect the public from unhealthy, extremely unhealthy, and hazardous air, which is a clear violation of the court order and constitutes contempt of court.